Breaking Down White Walls: Developing an Anti-Racism Action Program for NL Arts Communities

Lay Summary 

In response to Black Lives Matter and Indigenous sovereignty movements, Eastern Edge Gallery and Artist-Run Centre (EE) is developing new anti-racism policies. A not-for-profit, artist-run centre, Eastern Edge functions as a visual arts gallery, residency space, educational centre, and community gathering place for shared cultural exploration. EE empowers artists to lead critical conversations through public lectures, installations, and artist-led events. In June, EE released a collective statement with over 30 organizations in solidarity with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) artists against white supremacy and systemic oppression. Our long-term goal is to increase the delivery of programs addressing barriers faced by BIPOC creatives in achieving arts employment. Building on EE's previous projects and commitment to our communities, this project is designed to support a series of public outreach events related to EE’s new anti-racism policies. Activities include artists’ talks, anti-oppression workshops, town halls, and the publication of an Anti-Racism Action Plan to prioritize anti-racism within EE’s programming and operational goals. This project has two main goals. First, we seek to engage EE’s membership, community organizations, and other stakeholders in the approval and implementation of EE’s anti-racism policies. Secondly, we will share these resources and expertise with other NL arts organizations to create sustainable change across the creative sector. This is an emerging and emergent project, developed in tandem with the newly-established BIPOC Creatives Collective and EE's staff and Board of Directors. The project proposal was co-authored by Dr. Rachel Jekanowski (English) and EE Interim Director Daniel Rumbolt, on behalf of the community partner. Rachel Gilbert, EE Outreach Coordinator and RA on the project, supervised and facilitated the development of public outreach activities including a town hall on building anti-racism and equity, a speakers series, and a BIPOC-led writers slam.

English Language and Literature
Office of Public Engagement Public Engagement Accelerator Fund
Newfoundland and Labrador
Public engagement
Start date 
1 Nov 2021
End date 
30 Apr 2021
Lead Organization 
Eastern Edge Gallery